“Give ear to my prayer, O God,
and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
Attend to me, and answer me;
I am restless in my complaint and I moan…
For it is not an enemy who taunts me—
then I could bear it;
it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—
then I could hide from him.
But it is you, a man, my equal,
my companion, my familiar friend.
We used to take sweet counsel together;
within God’s house we walked in the throng…
My companion stretched out his hand against his friends;
he violated his covenant.
His speech was smooth as butter,
yet war was in his heart;
his words were softer than oil,
yet they were drawn swords.
Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:1-2,12-14,20-22
An outgoing Christian couple who does not honor a contract, cheats a business partner, or constantly complains about their neighbors. A church leader who harshly manages his family. A wife who berates her husband. A deacon who is unfaithful to his marriage vows. A woman who spreads gossip about a sister in Christ. A church friend who forgets to call. These all disappoint, because they tarnish what we assume true Christians should look like, be like.
There is only One who is absolutely trustworthy, and will never disappoint. When we look for other people to be Jesus, they will never measure up, but when we seek Him directly, we will find Him the purest of friends. Dependence on people is guaranteed at some point to fail, because we are sinners all. But hope in the Unfailing One will never disappoint. Take hold!
The wonder is not only that our Lord is ever faithful and true, for that is His immutable character, but that He is true to us who are not. The perfect Friend came to pursue enemies, to give His life a ransom in the place of us who were rebels destined for death, so we could live with Him forever. Compared to Christ, we all fall short, but we are sanctified to be good friends by learning of Him and living in Him- selflessly serving, lavishly loving, refreshing and building up one another. (Matthew 20:28; John 3:16; 15:13-16; Romans 3:23; 5:6-10; 1 Corinthians 16:14-18; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:4-5; Revelation 3:14)
What swerves us away from putting our trust in Him? Because we live in the flesh, we are prone to act in it, limiting our vision to what we can touch and see and forgetting that there is only one Savior. But faith calls us higher. When our security is fixed where it is meant to be, in Christ our best true Friend, we can see others more realistically, correct unfair expectations accordingly, and grow together in our steadfastness in Christ.
“Jesus! what a Friend for sinners!
Jesus! lover of my soul;
friends may fail me, foes assail me,
he, my Savior, makes me whole.
Hallelujah! what a Savior!
Hallelujah, what a Friend!
Saving, helping, keeping, loving,
he is with me to the end.” ~J. Wilbur Chapman (1910)
My Lord, tether me to You as first love. Teach me the unwavering faithfulness You extend to me, so in friendship with me, others recognize and come to know You.